GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida soccer coach Dan Mullen was given a number of extra probabilities Monday to make clear any confusion relating to his feedback about eager to pack 90,000 screaming followers inside Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in the course of the coronavirus pandemic.
He declined every of them, brushing apart criticism and insisting he is centered on defending nationwide champion LSU.
He was requested: Did you’ve gotten any discussions together with your boss, athletic director Scott Stricklin, about what you mentioned following a 41-38 loss at Texas A&M?
“No, I have been frightened about attempting to beat LSU,” Mullen mentioned.
Then: Any regrets two days later? Did you speak with college president Kent Fuchs?
“Yeah, I have been getting ready for LSU. However, I imply, I will be trustworthy. I feel if you happen to have a look at what we have been in a position to do, the security precautions we now have that our gamers have adopted, our coaches observe, our workers follows, you already know, I feel we’re a mannequin of security of what we have been doing throughout this time interval.
“So I am actually happy with how we have dealt with all the pieces and the way secure we have been with all the pieces we’re doing and all of the precautions we have had in place throughout this time.”
One other follow-up: Do you perceive how unhealthy it might be having so many individuals, with or with out masks, in cramped quarters for 4 hours?
“I feel Texas A&M, truly, they created an amazing ambiance on the recreation, created an thrilling ambiance, you already know?” the coach mentioned. “I believed they did an amazing job of doing that. … I have not talked to individuals as a result of I have been actually centered on attempting to beat LSU.
“However, you already know, no matter our authorities officers all say and what all people does for the sport, what we do must do is nonetheless many individuals they permit into the stadium, we have to attempt to work as arduous as we will — all of the Gator followers and all of us — to create one of the best game-day ambiance we will.”
Mullen raised eyebrows Saturday by calling for followers to pack the Swamp for Saturday’s recreation in opposition to the Tigers. State reopening tips beneath Gov. Ron DeSantis have allowed for full stadiums since late final month.
No school or skilled crew within the Sunshine State has moved past a small share of followers in attendance. The Gators had 2,000 of an almost 17,000 allotment unsold for his or her residence opener in opposition to South Carolina two weeks in the past.
However Mullen desires extra.
“I do know our governor handed that rule, so actually, hopefully, the UF administration decides to allow us to pack The Swamp in opposition to LSU — 100% — as a result of that crowd was actually an element within the recreation,” Mullen mentioned after the Aggies upset his defenseless Gators.
Mullen was given a possibility to again down a couple of minutes later. As a substitute, he stood by his feedback.
“Completely need to see 90,000 in The Swamp,” he mentioned. “I do not assume the part behind our bench, I did not see an empty seat. It was packed. The coed part, there will need to have been 50,000 behind our bench going loopy. Hopefully that creates a home-field benefit for us subsequent week as a result of now we handed a regulation in our state that we will try this. We would like our college students on the market cheering us on to present us that home-field benefit.”
Stricklin shortly squashed any ideas about Florida opening up its campus and rising capability.
Fuchs took it a step additional Sunday, saying on Twitter that Florida “stays totally and firmly dedicated to following CDC tips for each a part of our campus from school rooms to athletic venues in addition to the steering of our personal consultants and native and state well being officers.”
College of Florida college students are at present holding all courses on-line. Campus tips mandate bodily distancing and sporting a masks or material face protecting, restrictions that restrict what number of occupants may be in buildings. However Mullen apparently believes crowded bleachers could be OK.
“These preventative measures stay the simplest methods to sluggish the unfold of COVID-19,” Fuchs mentioned. “It will be important that each one members of the UF group and our campus guests observe this steering.”